Friday, October 28, 2011

Random thoughts

Today was my last day of PT. There was really no need to continue doing it under supervision because they are just exercises although it being with PT gave me an extra motivation and I would miss the massages. They were nice and gave me stretch ropes to use for my exercises at home. PT also did the strength evaluation and said that my right hip is significantly stronger. So I am heading into the right direction.
Now I just need to pick days and times when I am going to do them. If I do not plan it then I am more likely to skip it or just forget about it. But I am going to do them religiously.

I received my new Cobb V-flow Max saddle yesterday. I am pretty excited about it because honestly, ever since that ride on Saturday I was dreading getting on a bike and although Tuesday ride was ok, Th was just horrible and it hurt a lot and I quit my ride before the end. Maybe this saddle won’t make a difference but I am hoping it will. I hooked it up yesterday and I will probably play with the tilt and position today so I can get my 3hours tomorrow. And I should receive Adamo tomorrow or on Monday so I will be able to try that one as well and see what I like better.

You know that dream husband on mine who told me to be more patient…I sent him an email couple weeks ago asking him something about my bike set-up (because he recommended to buy that bike) and his response was: forget about all that crap and just ride your bike. Then today I sent him another email asking something and his response was that he has already told me what he thinks and basically that it is not time for me to get all technical and that I should just continue riding whatever. He also said that I should not do any 3 hours rides this time of the year. He is just a jerk. Too sexist, he thinks that all women are just weak and that I am like all other people in the club shooting to finish or do 14h IM. (Maybe I will end up doing 14h IM but that’s definitely not my goal). I hate that. I ask him a completely reasonable question and he always tells me to just continue my little training rides, tralala around and just do whatever. Whereas I know that when any guy from a club (and all of them are weaker bikers and runners than I am and they all know it and nobody wants to bike with me anymore) asks him something he responds with all the technical details and starts the whole discussion about training and racing and training gadgets etc. Hate such types. I agree that women are physically weaker but that does not mean that we cannot train like men. But he would still make a good husband for me, at least for 4-5 years. I clearly do not have high standards:)

But you know what would be awesome. If I could kick his ass in a race. I know that I am not going to beat him in IM in next few years because he is way ahead of me (although I might be able to pull off swim and run splits close to his but I would have to go ~5h on a bike and that’s not happening:)) but maybe when he is in his early 40s and me in my mid-30s, then I can smoke him:) Or at least if I did my first IM faster than he did his first 3 years ago. But that’s also a long shot because he went 10:35 or something like that and courses are not-comparable. It is probably true that I am competitive. But this is also about his stupid attitude. Not the best motivation ever on my side but I do not care, it is in human nature:)

I talked to my sister on a phone couple days ago and I told her about my desire to maybe take a few months off between Dec and law school start (if I get accepted) and just train like a pro. I am sure that she was rolling her eyes in unbelief and thinking I was nuts liek she always does when I tell her about running and stuff. And I expressed my concern about what am I going to eat and where am I going to live. And she has assured me that although our parents will surely think that I have completely lost my mind and they will not understand it, they will let me live with them and mom will force their food to me anyway. So maybe my dream will come true!
I better start filling out those law school applications.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What I learnt today

I went to the meeting of the tri club which was Ironman Q&A and my dream husband was there to talk about Kona. I thought that it might be usefull although most people i the club to it only for fun and do no care about their times or placing but still they ahve done IMs and I have not.

The most important thing I have learnt, well, more like it was confirmed to me is to leave the ego at home and ride your own race (and then I should be able to survive run). The dream husband was talking about his first IM and said he had used a permanent marker to write different splits he wanted to hit on his foreamrs and that it was stupid. He said that now when he knows what he knows he recommends to those of us doing our first IM to use a permanent marker and write PATIENCE on our foreamrs. Then he turned to me and said that I should write patience all over my body, not only foreamrs. xoxo
Right on spot! I will probably do that, otherwise I will very likely get myself into trouble.

Bike fit

Or rather an attempt.

I have met one guy at the tri race in August who does bike fitting/bike mechanical stuff/is trying to get into personal training . We were leapfrogging for a while during the race but eventually I pulled ahead:) It turns out that he is also member of the same tri club as I am and he offers pretty good prices for club members so I contacted him about the bike fit. The bike was never fitted for me, just basic stuff when they were trying to figure out the size for me. And then I adjusted the seat height, tilt, back and forth distance and I did my cleats based on what felt the best.

So he came over last night and he measured everything etc and the changes we made are:
Move aerobars 2cm closer together- no really necessary, but it would give me more aerodymanic position
Move my cleats little more back towards the heels – he also used that funny RAID thing or whatever the name for that is to see whether the angle is ok and it seems that I did a good fit for me playing with the angle and finding what feels the best .
Change the tilt of the saddle - which turned out to be a very bad idea. I had it at 9% because that’s the only way I can sit aero on that stupid saddle these days and he changed it to 6%. I did a bike workout this morning and I lasted 10min in aero….But I am getting a new saddle today (Cobb Max) and another one (ISM Adamo racing) in a few days so hopefully I will find something more comfortable. I found pretty good deal on Adamo on Slowtwitch and I think I will be able to sell it easily for the same amount and Cobb has money-back guarantee return policy so it is ok that I own three saddles right now. Well, three for my tri bike. I also own 2 other bikes, plus one more is sitting in my bedroom but that one is not mine (yeah, 4 bikes in my apartment. Luckily I do not have any furniture so it all fits:))

What a waste of time and money that fitting was, don’t you think? But as the saying goes, rather be safe than sorry. I wanted to make sure I am not sitting weirdly or my cleats are not totally off because I not want to end up injured.

He actually told me that he was surprised that I wanted a bike fit because he saw me riding and he thought that my form/fit was perfect and did not need any adjustments. But he also did little test on my core/hip/whatever balance and my right side is pretty weak (my ITB problem side…) so he said that if he had not seen me riding and if I told him that I do not feel comfortable that he would lift the handlebars little bit because with the current position it requires pretty strong core. But I rode in aero for 3h two weeks ago and had zero problems so the position is good.

He also said that my seat height is in the lower end and that I could rise it a bit to open up the knee angle and generate more power. However, I am not doing it until I get my new saddle because I tried to put it higher (because I know that I am way too low) last week and it was painful.

But it was not a complete waste because he adjusted my derailleur because it got little messed up and shifting was not smooth after we changed the cassette to my new wheel few days ago. And he also showed me bunch of new ITB exercises that I did not come across before. So since tomorrow is my last PT session I will have plenty exercises to do on my own now.
And I have all the measurements now so when I take the bike apart to ship it home:( I can assemble it back to where it was.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


My ITB has been feeling great since Wednesday and you know that it means? TEMPTATION!!!!

But no no no, I am determined not to run until Dec 1.
I need to get better about doing PT exercises in my spare time. Not that I am slacking but I thought that you should have a rest day between strength sessions for muscles to recover and adapt. But it seems that people are doing their exercises on their own at home. So I will start.

And I should use that spare time for rewritting the thesis (because I have not started yet) and study for LSAT because I have decided to go to law school in Hawaii. (Not really, but it is tempting:))

Dec 1st originally seemed like a reasonable date but I have picked that date when ITB was still little messy. Not that it is not, Dec 1st seems like ages away. But I will survive.

I need to start a countdown:) As of today, it is 38 days.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bike ride and saddle talk

I just finished my 3h trainer bike ride and honestly, just the thought of doing it again tomorrow makes me want to cry.

The reason is: I doubt I will be able to sit on that saddle tomorrow again.

It was not too too bad but there is a huge difference between riding for 3 hours outside and riding inside.
I had no problem riding on a trainer 3h last weekend, almost the whole time in aero. Today, I lasted hardly 90min and I changed shorts mid-ride hoping it would help. No.

I think that one of the reasons is that I was fiddling with the saddle height and position on Tuesday and it does not fit me as well as it did before.
Although, I am sure that that's not main reason. It is Fizi:k Arione Tri2 and it is made for men, not for women. If only I were more experienced with this I would have asked for a different saddle when I was buying the bike.
Now I have to spend a lot of extra money on a new saddle and I will be stuck with two of them. Although I will try to sell the old one on Amazon or somewhere but I doubt it will go.
But it needs to be done. Why suffer, right? And it will not get better, only worse.

My birthday is coming up and I have $50 gift certificate to a bike shop so I will buy myself a new one as a present. Not sure which one though. I will try to ask my friend whether he can take me to a bike shop today (I am babysitting his kids overnight so he is picking me up to get me to his house) and I will ask them whether they can lend me a saddle for a week. Because how am I supposed to know what fits me?

Other than that ride was ok although I went through a little crisis at 1h40-2h. I have decided to try it with a movie and/or music. I started browsing movies but dee inside I knew it will only annoy me. So I dacided for music and that lasted only 40min, then it started to annoy me. Sometimes I can ride with music but most of the time I prefer riding in quiet concentrating and staring at my powermeter/HRM. I do not know what I am thinking about while doing it though.
And I think that I need to tightned right pedal or crank arm or something because it start to make clicking noises when I push down. Very annoying.

3h (technically 2h50min, because I spend last 10min doing 1 leg drills)
Avg power: 171
Avg HR: 167
For 2h50min.

You see, according to different calculations and estimates and HR theories, I was supposed to be able to do hold 170-180 watts with 145-155HR. But there is no way I can do it. I know that there are people who will blow out if they go over 150. But I can hold 165 whole day. Seriously.
I can hold 175 whole day while running.

But if I continue doing these rides, I should see that my avg HR goes down while holding the same power. At least that's the theory.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

FTP test #1, Oct 19 2011

I did my first ever FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test yesterday and it was very weird because I had no idea what I can do, thus no benchmark or anything. Just go out as hard as I can for 20min and then subtract 5% and that it my FTP. I think that next time I do this it will be higher only because I will know what I can shoot for.

Avg power: 224.2 (236 – 5%)
Avg HR: 181
Avg cadence: 86
Weight: 150lb; 68.04kg
FTP: 3.29 watts/kg = 1.49 watts/lb

So I guess that no cycling coach is going to knock on my door anytime soon :)

I told my biking friend my avg power and he said not bad for a girl and then he calculated my FTP and he looked at me and said “I am sure you can do better than that”. Moron:)

According to Coogan’s book (which I have not read because I have other things to do right now), I am in a “good” category. To be in excellent category (~1.95 watts/lb) I would have to push 280-290 and to be a world class cat (~2.38 watts/lb) I would have to push 345-360. To be able to compete in TdF I would have to push 450+ or something like that :)

Or I can lose weight. I kind of let myself go in past 2 months so I put on some weight, 5-6 pounds maybe. I have read somewhere that Leandra Cave is 5’11’ and weighs 128 pounds. That’s like I would have to lose 20 pounds to match that. That does not sound very reasonable to me but who knows. I will probably try to make a conscious effort to lose some extra weight next year. If I eat right that it should tae care of itself since I will be training for IM.

People also told me that the difference between doing FTP test indoors and outdoors might be quite big, 15-20 watts. Outdoors higher than in.

You see, I am trying to make excuses why I did not push bigger number:)

Anyway, although the absolute number matters a lot because the bigger number it is, faster I am able to go, I am not going to dwell on it right now. It is the improvement that matters and since I am going to ride indoors for next couple months having test number from trainer is good.

And I better improve my FTP because Mont Tremblant is quite hilly (~6000 feet of climbing, although I have no notion what that means but people say that it means that it is hilly, mostly long not too steep hills) and higher FTP would be beneficial to ride well there.

ITB update

I have not talked about my ITB much. It is probably because it always sucks to talk about bad stuff.

It felt pretty bad all last week, although it was getting better and better. It still did not feel that hot on Monday either but nothing like only a few days before. It did not hurt when I was walking or biking, it hurt when I made a movement to the side (for example when I was driving and switching between gas and brake pedals, it was pretty bad on Sat, but better on Sun). Still occasional pain on Tuesday when I did a weird movement.

Then on Wednesday morning something in that area hurt with almost every single step, like something was being pulled. But it was not the usual ITB spot. PT said that it feels like quadriceps and was wondering whether that’s part of the whole ITB issue. She did some adjustments and said that my right knee cap sits deeper into my knee than my left one and that might also be part of my ITB problem. But there is nothing we can do about it, just try to strengthen the whole area. Then I remembered that while biking on Tuesday I had a weird knee discomfort for couple minutes at the end of the ride but then it went away. And I think that was it what caused that knee pain on Wed. But by the time I left work the pain went away and I was able to bike home and do my FTP test and then bike 9 miles at 7pm in dark, rain and wind to the club meeting because I had a wrench that I had to return to one guy. Thankfully, I did not have to ride a bike back home, a friend gave me and my bike a ride.
So it seems that Wednesday was my first ITB painfree day although I could not really tell because of that other pain.

Today, no ITB pain so far. It is only noon and if I do something stupid, some stupid movement for example it might start to hurt by the end of the day. But so far so good.

Of course, I am going to keep my promise to not to run until it feels good at least 4 weeks after the first time it is painfree. If it continues to feel this good over the weekend, then starting Monday I will gradually start doing elliptical and counting weeks :) And hopefully I will be able to start running at the beginning of December. That ‘s 5-6 weeks. Of course it all will depend on how ITB feels.

I saw a coyote for the first time in my life today:) He was laying on a lawn right outside our office window. Just thought that I would share with you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Can’t let them down

I was at the pool yesterday and I am ALWAYS the last one there and I ALWAYS leave just before they are closing or sometimes they have to kick me out. My life is planed down to seconds these days.

They close at 9:45pm and yesterday my workout was pretty short (but intense. 6 descending 200s and I think that I did very well) so I was done at 9:15pm.
And the lifeguard asked me what’s going on since I am done so early today and that she noticed that I left at 9pm on Monday :)

She also said that the other day when I left so early they wanted to close the pool but their boss did not want to let them. But they persuaded him saying that he should believe them that Miss Olympia is always the last one there and nobody ever comes to pool after her.

Yeah, they call me Miss Olympia among themselves. Funny and flattering. Although it is not because of my speed and it has nothing to do with bodybuilder’s competition in Vegas, they call me that because I am there a lot. More than anyone else and I work hard.
So I cannot slack because they pay attention :)

I am going to do FTP test on a bike today. I will post the “results” later so everyone can see how good I am :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bruises can be very beneficial, really

Do not worry, I do not have an abusive husband or something similar.

You know how they say that you can tell whether your running form is good based on dirt marks on your calves? It is true for bruises as well.

I always have small bruises or scratches on the inside of my right knee. I knew that it was from biking but I did not really pay attention to it and did not try to put two and two together. Until today.

I bruise very easily so I have bruises everywhere and after I made one to myself trying to loosen up my ITB with a tennis ball my PT started to pay closer attention them. I had had some bruises on that right knee from the mountain bike races I did couple weeks ago but they faded by now. But today the PT asked me about the new ones I have. I was ok with bruises from mountain bike races because you know, you swing you bike in every direction etc but I have been doing only easy road or trainer biking lately so why am I bruised???

And then it hit me.

It is because I bend my right knee so far inwards at every pedal stroke that I hit myself on a frame or/and stem. And most of the time I do not even realize it. That's a lot of inward movement and lot of strain on ITB. Imagine how much strain it must be when I run like that! PT said that she have not realized how bad it was and that she would think that by now my hip muscles would be stronger but apparently they are not strong enough yet. So she said that on Wednesday we are going to start with some new hard-core exercises strengthening hip stabilizers.

So I guess that from now on I am going to gauge my progress by the number of bruises I have:)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I am one happy hummingbird

Happy because I talked to a friend today and he told me that he had ITB problem 2 years ago while training for a marathon. He said that he had weak hip flexors and his ankle was not flexible enough thus he was bending his knee inwards with each step and that aggreviated his ITB. I was like, that's ME! I have exactly the same problem. So my problem is probably indeed ITB and nothing more serious.
And he told me that it took him over 5 months of physical therapy (3x/week with a PT and other days on his own) to solve the issue. So there is a hope for me. 1 month of PT won't cut it since I have had the issue for over 2.5 years now so it is really messed up. I cannot expect to solve it in 4-6 weeks like different "clever" websites discussing ITB say.

This made me super happy. It means that I can resolve it, I just need to be patient! Super duper happy. Couple months is a long way but I am thinking long-term.

And I am hummingbird because well, I am. I am like a F1 engine, HR is 200 while sleeping. I finally got powermeter hooked up today and I have changed the battery in my HRM (by the way, I went to jewelry store and they ask $8 for battery change. What?!? So I just went to hardware store and bought a set of jewelry screw drivers for $3 and a battery for another $3 and changed it myself. That's $2 savings:)). I have been struggling keeping my HR over 140 laterly. Well, now I have realized that it was not me really. It was HRM. Because now when it works properly again I got my HR to 140 within 1 minute and had to do a sighseeing ride effort to keep it there and not to go over 150. Now that's more like me. 150 is really low for me. I blink and my HR shoots up. I am definitelly not an endurance athlete....YET!

So I did 3 hours on trainer today. Fun:) I am moving indoors. It is dark by 7:20pm now and it is just more efficient that riding on Michigan roads. So hometrainer tire is hooked up and ready to go.
Average HR 147 and average power 152 (wow, that's pathetic, but as I said I need to keep a very low effort in order to keep HR that low). I have a lot of work to do to become an endurance athlete...
Although that power, who knows whether it was correct. Because I got CPU receiver unit from a friend today (in exchange for a beer boot and babysitting services) and we had power outage when I got home with it thus I could not go online to read a user manual. So I played with the buttons until I figured out how it works (I am a genius I know, although there are three rows on a display and I have no idea what the second row shows and I do not know how to reset the unit to zero). So who knows whether it was showing correct numbers. Maybe it needs some kind of calibration. I need to read the manual.

I was able to stay in aero for almost whole 3hours with only occasional sitting up for a few seconds. It was not too bad but I might give a chamois butter a try:) And my shoulder muscles are kind of sore. But I am already half way there to survive the whole IM ride.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I guess that I will never be a serious athlete

Because my stupid ITB has flared up again. And I cannot become a serious athlete if I cannot train properly.

I do not know why it flared up. Running? New PT exercises I did on Monday? Massage PT gave me on Monday morning?

Since I am very biased, I think that it was the massage. I do not think that it was running. Because I ran on Sunday and it felt good until Monday afternoon.
So I have not run since Sunday, stop doing new exercises, PT stopped giving me ITB massage and we will wait until it calms down again.

She told me today that she can feel a little bump above the knee tendon, which means that it is inflammated and swollen. So I am icing it (although I have always iced it) and I decided to start taking anti-inflammatory medicine doctor gave me. That should help to calm it down sooner.

So I am not going to do the race on Sunday. Although I am 90% positive that I could have been in top 3 (and 60% positive about winning) and thus win money, even 100 bucks is not worth it. Although it would be nice since I need to buy a new commuter bike because the one I have borrowed from a college is unusable now and I am not going to ride my road bike to work. It is a nightmare. But I have decided to put a long-term goal over a short-term goal!

Hm, any other suggestions about what I can do?

Maybe I should get an MRI, maybe it is something worse than ITB. I need to look into it. Although I will probably wait until they kick me out of the country and send me home because I cannot afford it here.

But you know what? I am not stressing about it. I did only 1 month of PT sessions and PT told me that my ITB is still very tight and needs work. So I probably should not have start running just yet and I should have waited until the imbalances are cured. But I wanted to do the race so I started running. Now I have no mor races planend until Aug 19 2012. And that' sthe big one.
So I am going to do the PT and I will not start running the moment ITB feels good. I will wait longer. Even if it takes 2 motnhs. Hopefully, by that time, imbalances will disappear, ITB will loosen up and then when I start running again it will be ok. That's my plan.
Until then, I will continue biking (because it does not bother it at all!) and swimming, maybe elliptical (depends on how it feels).
Because IM is all about being an ubercyclist. Better cyclist I become, faster I will be able to run a marathon. I believe that I have enough miles in my legs to be able to survive the run even if I did not run as much as I probably should. Or when I start running, I will be able to regain fitness fairly quick.
I am staying positive.

So, PPC, when I tell you in 2-3 weeks that my ITB feels great and that I am ready to start running again, please yell at me, call me an idiot and don't let me run! Do not send me a training plan no matter how much I beg. Ok?

It felt pretty bad yesterday while I was at work. Then I went biking and swiming and as I was standing in shower afterwards I realized that it feels awesome. No pressure, no pain. And I started thinking again that I might be able to run on Sunday. Then again, I am at work sitting on my butt and it does not feel that hot. But I made a deal with myself, no more running until it feels great for 4 weeks. 4 weeks of no pain, no pressure, no tingling. Then I can start runing again. Hopefully it will be sometime in late November, mid-Dec, no later. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So many choices in life

So many choices… And all of them would make me super happy.
I have been trying to figure out my life after they kick me out of the US in December. And I am getting closer and closer to making a decision.

I have some job prospects with the company I am doing an internship for but nothing is for sure, everyone just keeps talking but no actions are made. I am still being positive but maybe it is time to move forward and devise a plan what to do if I do not get a job.

The simplest option would be go home and find a job somewhere in Europe. But I do not want to do that. That’s my last resort. It is not that it would be super bad, but if I have a choice I prefer staying here.

I have always wanted to go to law school. I have taken a couple of law classes and I loved them, more than what I do now. I think that now might be a good time to go to law school, get degree in business law (maybe specialize in business contracts…) and combine it with my (soon to be) degree in business management and then work in business consulting or legal department of a company.

By the way, I talked to my thesis supervisor two-three weeks ago. She did not yell at me, I did not yell at her, so it was a good start. I finally figured out what exactly she wants from me. Basically the thesis I submitted is not that bad, but there is “academic discussion” missing in it. So I can keep all research, my calculations and everything I did but I need to add few things into it. Both me and my supervisor agree that if I do that it might be a pretty good thesis because it is an interesting topic.

Back to my law school idea. I have decided to take LSAT in December and by then I should know more about my job situation and then I can decide whether I am going to apply to law schools or not. I know that it will be kind of late but I have decided that I do not need a degree from Ivy League school and similar bunch because I already have one of those and it got me nowhere so far thus some lousy law school that accept applications until April is ok with me. The only problem is that I do not have $200k. I don’t even have $2k. I was very lucky in the past because I got scholarships for both Brown and HEC and I might have run out of “scholarship luck” by now. But I am going to apply to schools and then if/when I get accepted I will see what they can do for me money-wise.

If I get a job I will take that and work for a year or two and then I will try to see whether a company can get me a tuition subsidy to go to law school.

So right now I am super busy. Well, not right now, I will start being super busy tomorrow because I keep postponing everything. I need to study for LSAT, need finally start working on rewriting the thesis, train for an Ironman and work. I have to devise a clear plan because otherwise it is not going to work and I will not do a good job on any of those.

And this might sound really crazy to you but you know what would make me the happiest? Take a year off and spend it training for a triathlon like a pro. Not that I think that I can be a pro athlete because if I could I would have been one by now, would not I? But I would really love to see what I can do and whether I could get any good if I trained hard and did not have to worry about any other stuff. Unfortunately, that’s not an option because where will I live and what am I going to eat? Michelle, don’t you want to start a hard-core triathlon training group (like those running groups Hanson’s Distance project, Oregon, Mammoth ect)? I will be your first athlete, I will work for you, you know, clean your house, cook the meals, babysit, being your coaching assistant, whatever is needed and I can give you all the gift cards I win in my races and once I start winning money you will be getting a percentage of my winnings. What do you say?

Maybe if I go to law school, which would mean that I have to go back to Europe in December, I will take those several months between January and school-year start off, live with my parents, don’t pay rent, eat their food and just train. But I would probably go crazy and then again, I do not have money for law school so I should probably spend those months earning at least some money.

At least I have a plan and am not clueless about my future. Now I just need to make sure it works out like I wish. It is in my hands. (Except my train-like-a-pro idea, that one depends on Michelle:))

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What a weekend!

As my former used used to say, I will end up badly one day.
So I did my bike ride on Sat. Was supposed to do HR stuff for 2.5h. 35min in a got a flat. My first flat on a tri bike and my first time using CO2. Those things are AWESOME!!! I did not carry a spare tube with me, just some sticky patches. So I fixed and decided to continue my ride hoping that the patch will hold for another 2h. Well, no, it did not. 1h later it kind of peeled off. So I used another patch but the tube was all sticky so I knew that it would be a miracle if it hold there. I also used up my most of my 2nd CO2 cartridge and was around 15 miles from home. 20min later, patch stopped working. So I am around 11miles from home, no cell phone (I neevr carry it because who would I call? Police? And tell them a got a flat and need a ride home?), not enough CO2, in my bike shoes....Grrr.
But fortunately a car pulls over and some random guy offered me a ride home. He had a bike on a roof of his car so that gave me a reassurance that he is just being nice to a fellow cyclist and I am not going to get murdered.
Moral of the story: Carry an extra tube with you. (I also need to buy more of those amazig CO2 stuff.)

And by the way, I did not feel that good on a bike. I felt great for the first 1.5h, then I had a small crisis for around 20min and then I was ok for another 10min until I got the flat.
I wonder what's going on. My bike rides have always been very good but I have been struggling in past two weeks. That very hard mountain bike race 2 weeks ago was the last good ride I had. Ever since then I have been feeling blah on a bike:(

Then I went to a party to a friend's from work place. Nothing better than showing up to a party riding a bike. But she and many of her friends are triathletes so they understood:)
We watched Kona coverage and ate a lot. Good times. We stayed up past midnight to see my "future husband" and Michelle finish. It was pretty cool. Michelle looked pretty good crossing that finish line and she had the biggest smile on her face. Watching it kind of made me want to try to qualify for Kona. But that urge has already passed:) I wish Andreas Raelert won. I think that he is not married and I have a thing for Germans, so I am naturally inclined to root for him.

I spent the night at my friend's house (but no invitation to check out master bedroom mattress or similar funny story to share this time), ate chocolate cake for breakfast, chatted about tri and running and my job situation, checked Chicago marathon results and then I biked 9 miles home. I was nice to get out of the house and go some place other than work, pool or track.

Weather has been gorgeous the whole week and today was the best. I was very happy to be out and was excited for my track workout.
1k w/up, 1.6k @ 5k pace, 800m job, 4x400 in 82-88sec, 1k c/d.
I did 1.6k (mile, in case you do not know. Well, not a full mile, but almost a mile) in 6:03. And I do not think that I will able to hold that pace for another 2.1 miles. So I am not sure what I should do next Sunday. I need to think about it more.
400s were 86, 83, 84, 85. It was kind of hard though:(
So on one hand, it was a good workout, but on the other it did not leave me feeling confident. I felt much better on Friday.
Stop being negative!!!!

But it is hard to decide on race plan if I do not know where I stand at this point! Grrr.

Then did a swim workout: main set was 24x100. That's a lot of 100s and my head is spinning from all the different paces and send-offs and stuff. But I again had a good workout!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Can I pull this one off?

You know, I have 5k race next Sunday. And my running training has been rather inconsistent in past month (well, actually in past 2 and a half years but...). ITB flared up on Aug 31, I did not run at all until Sept 12, I did some 200s on Sept 12 and have not run sice until this past Sunday.
So I ran around 12 miles in past 37 days. I should count total miles I have run this year. That would be a pathetic number.

I went into today's workout eager to see what I can do and whether I can just start where I left off in Aug, that is whether I can do it at pace I ran prior-Aug 31.

Plan (that I thought was way too ambitious but I was happy to see that PPC believes in me:)) called for 1k w/up, 4x1k in 3:42-48 w/2min rest, 400m c/d. When I saw 3:42-48 I thought that she was kidding and did not really put enough thought into this plan:)
1st: 3:45. It was not hard but I was like, Oh, I am going to die by the end of this workout. (I should know by now that the first one is always like this because 1k warm up is not enough and I do nto want to do drills and strides just yet.)
2nd: 3:40. Ok, just stay positive and run what feels like a good effort. Not too hard, but not easy. Apparently 5:52/mile pace is a comfortably hard pace...
3rd: 3:41. This is not that bad. Not bad at all.
4th: 3:38. I had a little crises with 400m to go because it was getting harder but I pushed the negative thoughts aside and just ran my comfortably hard pace and finished strong.

Clearly, I am in a pretty decent shape and I just need my running legs.
I know that 1 week is not enough to get them back but I have 3 more workouts before the race so...
I also know that 1 good workout does not mean anything but nevertheless it left me confident about Oct 16. Maybe I can pull it off. And by pulling it off I mean running sub 19min. It will not be anywhere near what I was hoping to run this year but considering my training (or lack of it) I will take that.
So it seems that all that biking and swimming is not a waste of time:) My overall fitness is pretty high from biking and swimming. All I need is to transfer that into fitness more specific to running. 3 workouts to do it!

I think that I will be unbeatable next year (or year after). After the IM training I will a huge aerobic/endurance base and then with a few of PPC's well designed speed workouts I will be a running rockstart. Assuming that I survive IM training...

I got prescription for another 4 weeks of PT because apparently still a lot of work is needed.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Where did my legs go???

Seriously. I think that all the power from my legs has moved to my arms last week. My biking is horrible and swimming continues to be a blast.
I did the aerobic 90min ride yesterday (which was awesome and I loved it) and it seems that it really trashed me. I mean, 90min at 140-155 HR left the legs so tired that I struggled on a bike today? Really? Already in the morning on my ride to work I felt that legs were tired.
I was supposed to do the same ride today but it was hard to hold 140+ HR. It was not hard cardivascularly, it was hard neuromuscularly! I did only 60min.
Although I think that my HRM is part of the problem. It might have been just stuck at 137 because I was working hard and it would not rise or fall. And then suddenly bang, 160, or 122. I know the battery is bad already and I need to have it changed. I can't do it myself because I don't have a screwdriver small enough to open the watch. Grrr. I don't know where I can take it to have it done. I need to ask someone at work and I'll have it done this weekend if I can get a car from work.

Plus I am also not getting enough sleep and enough food. But it is not only my fault. 75% mine, 25% my schedule's fault and I can't do anything about it.

I had an awesome swim today. But I am very very bad at pacing in pool. Like for example was supposed to go 3:15 for 200 and went 3:05. And 1:36 and went 1:30. At least I went faster and not slower:)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quick update

Phew. I have finally some time. I am really busy between work, sleep, training and watching That 70's show on Netflix.

No ITB pain after my run on Sunday, which is super exciting!!!
Since then I also ran yesterday. I had 1k repeats planned but when I got to the track there wassomething going on there. It looked like marching band was performing. It was not their usual practice because there were actually people watching. So I scratched that plan and went on training fields do some sprints. 1omin w/up, 10x 100m sprint, 100m jog, 100m sprint, 100m walk, 5min c/d. It was approximately 100m and those sprints were not as fast as they would have been on track but better than nothing.

I also swam on Monday and yesterday. Mostly easy swimming but yesterday included 900yards (not continuous) of swimming with bands, which was hard. But good strength workout!

Did bike today. I am starting to build aerobic base now, which will involve a lot of easy biking, 140-155 HR. Actually, it is not all that easy. At least it does not seem to be on a road where I usually do it. But these are last days when I will be able to bike outside so I better take advantage of that. It is getting dark early, 7:30 and it is already not safe biking. Seems that I will be moving indoors soon.

I have received powermeter last week already but my friend lended his tools to a different friend so he cannot swap the cassette from my old wheel to a new one. I hope he can do it soon because I eager to start playing with it!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

RUN!!!! (and the highest swim mileage up to date)

I ran today, tadada, I ran today, tadada, I ran today, tadada...

ITB has been feeling very good lately and it was nice outside today (chilly and very windy, but sunny. Next week it is supposed to be sunny the whole week. Awesome.) so I decided to go for a run.

I also got inspired by watching half-marathon race happening in the town I live at. I went there and was imagining myself running this race next year. Not that I want to run a HM or that my chances of staying here are not zero anymore, but I just wanted to run.

Maybe it was not the smartest idea after yesterday's race but whatever, I just wanted to run. By the way, after the bike race last weekend I was exhausted but not sore at all. After yesterday, I am sore but not as trashed as last week.

PT told me to start easy into running. Ok, 800m repeats sounds reasonably easy (to me anyway. PT would probably disagree tomorrow after she asked me what I did to screw things up).
1k w/up, 3x800m at 5k pace w/ 90sec rest, 600m c/d, for 4k total.
3:02, 2:58, 2:54. It was hard! Hard enough to have me bent over my knees while trying to catch my breath after the last one.
Sure, part of it being hard is the race I did yesterday and legs soreness, it was very windy today, I did this at around 10am and I have not eaten anything since last night and it was probably a shock to my poor body since I have not run for a month (crossing a street running because of cars approaching does not count as running, does it?), but huge part is that I am not really running fit. But that's normal. I should have been better at that elliptical stuff.

I have decided to do the race on 16th, if I do not do anything stupid and ITB flares up again. PPC gave me a plan for next two weeks and it looks freaking hard. She is usually very conservative about my plan when I go back to running but not this time, not this time. I might die:)

Then I went home and watched a movie and fell asleep on a floor like I usually do. In case you are wondering why I sleep on a floor, well, I do not have a couch or a real bed so I watch movies sitting on a floor.
Anyway, I slept for around 2 hours and when I woke up I realized that I was going to be late for my swim workout! Not late but I might not be able to complete it before they close. Fotunately, I did complete it before they closed, but I was again the last person there. As usual.
I think that today was my longest swim ever, 4,000yards (3,658 meters)! That's a lot!

I have finished this week with 12,573 meters (which is 7.85 miles!) Can you imagine that? More than 12k of swimming! That sounds so bad ass. For me anyway, I have never thought that I would ever swim that much. But that's good. I am starting to like it a lot (probalby because I am actually able to hit my paces now so it does not frustrate me anymore).

When I came there the guy at the front desk said "Hi" followed by my name. How does he know my name? And when I was leaving, he said bye and my name again! Sure, when I check in with my card it probably shows them my name. And since I am there 5 times a week, it is understandable that they know me, but still. Strange.

The best day ever!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Grampian Challenge Mountain Bike race RR

You see the "mountain" in the name of this race? I should have known but they said one can use cross bike. BUT it was definitelly NOT a crossroad bike friendly course. Too much technical trails, single track with rocky hills etc.

I am really mad at myself that I did not try to borrow a mountain bike from someone. It was miserable and I know I could have done much much better if I had a mountain bike. Because consider this: the guy I went there with did the race last week only 6min faster than I did on his ($7500 S-Works Specialized) mountain bike with cross tires. Today he was 30min faster on his bike with mountain bike tires!!! I did 2h55min today. First woman was 2h41. Pathetic. Me, not her. Well, I think that her time is pathetic as well, but mine is more pathetic. I am confident that if I had a mountain bike and managed to stay with faster people at the beginning I could have taken her. But I know, I know, IF does not count:)

We hit trails and I immediatelly got passed by everyone and their grandmother. I also wiped out, silly me. We were on trails for around 10miles, which is a lot. Everyone fast was gone and I did not have everyone to ride with once we hit dirt roads. I was all alone the whole time, pushing and passing people. Dirt roads were 23 miles but it was not long enough to make up lost time. I passed quite a lot of people but then we hit trails again, around 6 miles and most of it single track. And people passed me back.

I still managed 3rd expert woman though (I think that there were 6 or 7 of us...). It was a good effort but not as hard as last week, since noone around to push me.
I realized that it was really stupid to sign up as expert woman. I am no expert. I did one bike race like this. I should have raced as sport and I could have had better placement and probably win some cash. But on the other hand, racing as expert will maybe give me more leverage when trying to get some sponsors, right? So hopefully it is all for good.

But I really liked it otherwise, course was very nice, I actually like single track technical trails, it is fun. If I stay here, I am definitelly going to get a mountain bike and do this more often. That guy I went there with is selling his bike because he wants a 2012 model (although his current bike has only 12 rides on it, but some people just have to have the newest and coolest stuff) and he offered it to me. But I do not have $7500 so I had to pass on the offer, haha.
And I got one business contact and met some nice new people, although none of them were hot bikers:(